Tuesday, November 20, 2012

New and Noteworthy (Skyfall Reviews)

Critics are gushing over the latest Bond film, Skyfall, and general audiences have also been responsive (the film is now widely expected to cross the billion dollar mark internationally), but the reaction of purists to the film has been rather more mixed. Here are two reviews which buck the trend to look back longingly on earlier times in the series' history.

* In The Boston Globe, Wesley Morris writes of the series' overfamiliarity and questionable relevance , the low stakes in this particular spy game, and Craig's lack of charisma in the role.

* In the Wall Street Journal Andrew Roberts, expressing perhaps what I imagine many other critics have been too inhibited to say, makes the case that
Bond has been shorn of that subtly menacing blend of sadism and political incorrectness that set him apart from Jason Bourne, Ethan Hunt and all the other identikit espionage heroes. By making Bond less personally dangerous, and even hinting at a bisexual past, the guardians of his brand are undermining precisely what has made that brand so special.
Interestingly, while clearly enjoying much of what has long driven Bond-averse cultural critics up the wall, he concludes with a favorable mention of Simon Winder's The Man Who Saved Britain, a reminder that one does not have to be a Bond-basher to enjoy that book (reviewed here).

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